November 12, 2008 19:59 ET

Silicon Wafer Shipments Contract in Third Quarter 2008

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - November 12, 2008) - Worldwide silicon wafer area shipments contracted almost three percent during the third quarter of 2008 when compared to the second quarter of 2008 area shipments, according to the SEMI Silicon Manufacturers Group (SMG) in its quarterly analysis of the silicon wafer industry.

Total silicon wafer area shipments were 2,243 million square inches in the second quarter, compared to 2,303 million square inches shipped during the second quarter. Compared to the 2007 third quarter, total area shipments increased over three percent.

"The total volume of silicon declined slightly in the third quarter when compared to the previous quarter, reflecting the increasing conservative mood in the industry," said Kazuyo Heinink, chairwoman of SEMI SMG and Vice President, New Product Marketing for MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc. "300mm shipments continue to grow, although at a slower rate."

                Quarterly Silicon Area Shipment Trends
       Semiconductor Silicon Shipments* - Millions of Square Inches

                                 Million of Square Inches

                        Q3 2007          Q2 2008          Q3 2008
                        -------          -------          -------
TOTAL                     2,174            2,303            2,243

*Shipments are for semiconductor applications only and do not include solar

Silicon wafers are the fundamental building material for semiconductors, which in turn, are vital components of virtually all electronics goods, including computers, telecommunications products, and consumer electronics. The highly engineered thin round disks are produced in various diameters (from one inch to 12 inches) and serve as the substrate material on which most semiconductor devices or "chips" are fabricated.

All data cited in this release is inclusive of polished silicon wafers, including virgin test wafers, epitaxial silicon wafers, and non-polished silicon wafers shipped by the wafer manufacturers to the end-users.

The Silicon Manufacturers Group acts as an independent special interest group within the SEMI structure and is open to SEMI members involved in manufacturing polycrystalline silicon, monocrystalline silicon or silicon wafers (e.g., as cut, polished, epi, etc.). The purpose of the group is to facilitate collective efforts on issues related to the silicon industry including the development of market information and statistics about the silicon industry and the semiconductor market.

SEMI is the global industry association serving the manufacturing supply chains for the microelectronic, display and photovoltaic industries. SEMI member companies are the engine of the future, enabling smarter, faster and more economical products that improve our lives. Since 1970, SEMI has been committed to helping members grow more profitably, create new markets and meet common industry challenges. SEMI maintains offices in Austin, Beijing, Brussels, Hsinchu, Moscow, San Jose, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit

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